Engineering for Humanity in Action: Propelling Talent to Shape Our World

The Columbia Student Support Initiative is a four-year, $1.4 billion effort to support all students at Columbia, announced this spring by President Lee Bollinger. Columbia Engineering is pleased to be participating in this University-wide effort. While the School boasts one of the most robust commitments to student support in the country, only a small percentage of our financial aid costs are covered by endowment. To close this gap in funding will position us to continue our rise in excellence and impact.

Today, the School’s top priority is increasing the number of endowed scholarships it can offer to students. Through the Initiative, you have an opportunity to join alumni and friends in securing a strong future for the University that will impact Columbians for years to come.

“Students are the single greatest investment in our future—they transform the world, and our University is transformed by them,”
— Dean Mary C. Boyce

Columbia Engineering has launched a new initiative to support students.

Want to get involved? Donors can direct their support in the way that inspires them most.

Class Gifts

Class gifts bring alumni together to make a bigger impact. From 1951 to 2021, we have 17 undergraduate Class Gifts already established and more in development. Class Gifts are also a powerful way to connect alumni across the years: the Class of ’51 Scholarship currently supports Class of 2021 graduate Natalia Dorogi. It’s never too early or too late to build a shared legacy for the School and Community.


Community Gifts

Like Class Gifts, Community Gifts allow individuals to expand their influence through the strength of their network. The Columbia University Alumni Association of Hong Kong decided to direct its second endowed scholarship to engineering in 2017 to support student education. Established by a group of former Fu Scholars, the Z.Y. Fu Memorial Scholarship provides four-year scholarships for Chinese students to study at Columbia Engineering. In 2020, we partnered with Columbia’s Black Alumni Council to establish the James R. Priest Scholarship in honor of the Engineering School’s first Black graduate. And in 2021, the Columbia Alumni Association of Taipei established its first-ever University-wide community scholarship directed to Columbia Engineering. In partnership with the Latino Alumni Association, the Rodriguez Family - siblings Ana Rodriguez '86 '88 and Marcos Rodriguez '83 - launched the Alumbra Scholarship for Leadership in Engineering. The Alumbra Scholarship is an endowed fund that will, in perpetuity, support Columbia Engineering undergraduate students who have demonstrated leadership in and support for the Latinx community, one of the most underrepresented groups in engineering. Alumbra is a Spanish word that means to shine or radiate, to bring forth light. Similarly, the Alumbra Scholarship makes a difference for future engineering leaders who will illuminate our world with their service, intellect, and creativity.


James R. Priest


Disciplinary Field Impact

Major donor gifts help propel our mission in a number of ways, from securing resources and facilities to supporting the next generation of pathbreaking researchers and innovators. Named Fellowships such as the Blavatnik Doctoral Fellowships in Engineering Innovations in Health, Tang Fund for Engineering Innovations in Financial Technology, and the recently established Avanessians Doctoral Fellowships for Engineering Thought Leaders and Innovators in Data Science allow us to attract top talent while also expanding the number of graduate students at Columbia and growing our community of scholars. Major donors also support undergraduate education and help us maintain our need-blind, full-need admissions promise to students.


Armen Avanessians ’83, P’12CC, ‘17CC, ‘17SIPA established the Avanessians Doctoral Fellowships for Engineering Thought Leaders and Innovators in Data Science.


Family Legacy

Get the family involved with these named scholarships and fellowships, designed for you to make a lasting difference at Columbia. Today, you can create a fund and the door will remain open for family and friends to continue building upon your gift for future generations. Jeffrey ’68SEAS and Linda Franklin, Michael ’84CC ’85SEAS and Anne Hall, and Grace Wu ’00SEAS and Jerry Pi are just a few of the alumni who have established endowed family funds in support of Columbia students.

Since our early origins in 1864 as an institution devoted to metallurgy and mining, Columbia Engi- neering has been home to some of the brightest and most gifted creators in the engineering landscape. Your generosity sustains this diverse pipeline of talent and ensures our students are equipped with the tools to push the frontiers of knowledge and translate their dis- coveries to meet tomorrow’s most pressing challenges.


Grace Wu ’00 and Jerry Pi created the Grace and Jerry Pi Family Scholarship Fund to help financially support and promote diversity in undergraduate education.


Institutions and Industry

Institutional or Corporate Giving is another way to increase your level of impact and strengthen partnerships with Columbia. As part of our new Columbia Center of Artificial Intelligence Technology in collaboration with Amazon, the corporation will support two-year fellowships for PhD students, while our partnership with the Beijing-based Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business enables Innovation Fellows to pursue research toward their doctoral degree. Whether through academia, industry, or government, these partnerships increase the Engineering School’s competitiveness and open up the engineering pipeline to a greater number of candidates.


There are many ways to support education at Columbia Engineering. Please visit our Giving Site to learn more.

Contact Information

To learn more about supporting financial aid, please contact: [email protected]